These rather splendid-looking cheesy tasting bakes were one of the buffet highlights at last week's family afternoon tea that I catered for. I'm glad to report that they were a real winner, everyone loved them and they were also pretty filling.
They were a bit of an experiment - I'd seen the wonton case idea somewhere on the internet a while back and had stored it in my brain for future access. When it came to planning what I was going to cook for the party, I decided now would be the time to try something out with them. A bit risky, but I was reasonably confident I could pull it off :)
I've always loved cauliflower cheese growing up, and I had a cauli that needed using, so I decided to do a vegan party-food take on it. But I have to say, if you are someone that hates cauliflower cheese, don't be put off making these. My son hates it too, but loved these!
And they really did look the part on the table, with their fluffy, golden tops and crispy cases. They were a real centrepiece.
Now before you go storming ahead to recreate my fabulous bakes, I have this disclaimer: this recipe is a first attempt, and I am not in a position to remake it anytime soon (unless anyone wants to commission me to cater for them?!). So, I have been unable to give it another test through before posting here.
If there is anything not quite right, I am stating my lack of responsibility right here and now :)
I've tried my best to be accurate and am fairly sure this will work out for you, but you can't sue me if it doesn't. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work. The only thing I would say is that had I made more filling, I would have had enough wonton wrappers from my packet to do 21 bakes.
So, depending on how many wonton wrappers are in your packet, you could increase the quantities for your filling, and a little bit more for the topping, and make more bakes if you have more mouths to feed.
The reason I used sunflower seeds in this recipe was to add some extra nutritional value and also, because I got the idea for making sauces with sunflower seeds after trying the PPK Sunflower Mac (which I have made several times and love!). I'm sure you could make the filling without the seeds too though, as long as you use extra cauliflower/potato - or maybe with cashews instead (remembering to soak). But hey, why not live a little and try them out?
Here's the recipe anyhow, and I hope the pictures help for your recreation of this great party food. I just want to ask of you though, if you do make it, PLEASE come back here to comment and let me know how it worked out? It would be good to know if the recipe needs tweaking, or if it was all hunky dory.
Also - if you don't have American measuring cups, you could try filling a jug to the 8oz mark for each 1 cup needed.
Cauliflower Cheeze Wonton Bakes
Makes 15 bakes
* You need about 4 ½ cups of cold, previously prepared mashed potato for this recipe, I think around 4 large potatoes. Make the mash as you like it, and preferably smooth with vegan margarine, soya milk and salt added.
For the filling / bakes:
30 sheets wonton pastry
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours or overnight
1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets and steamed until soft
1 cup mashed potato
1 small onion, finely chopped
Drizzle of olive oil for frying onion
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp yellow miso paste
4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
5 tbsp plain soya milk
For the topping:
3½ cups mashed potato (use vegan margarine, salt and non-dairy milk to mash)
1 tbsp French mustard
1½ tsp turmeric powder
1. Lightly fry the chopped onion in a little olive oil for a few minutes - until soft, but make sure it doesn't burn or brown too much. Leave aside to cool.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 190 Celsius. Line 15 muffin pan hollows each with 2 wonton pastry sheets(silicone bun cases work well here too! Make sure they are placed on a baking sheet first). Placing one sheet in the pan first, and then another at a different angle, so it would be a star-shape if flat.
3. Drain the sunflower seeds and place in a food processor. Blend them as much as possible on their own first of all, adding some soya milk to make the paste easier to manage and scraping down as needed.
4. Add the onion powder, garlic salt, miso paste, fried onion and nutritional yeast and whizz a bit more, then add the 1 cup of plain mashed potato and the cauliflower. Blend and add more milk if necessary, but the filling does need to stay like a very thick porridge, so you may have to keep scraping!
5. When you have your filling all blended and a smooth but thick consistency, you can spoon and divide it equally into the wonton pastry cases.
6. Make up the mash topping by whisking the mustard and turmeric powder into the 3½ cups of mashed potato. You might find doing this on the pulse setting in the blender works best, to make sure the ingredients are properly distributed throughout out.
7. Now the fun begins! Fill a piping bag with the mash (you'll need to do this in two or three tries) and pipe decoratively in whirls on the top of each filled wonton case.
8. When you've topped all of the wonton cases, place the muffin pans in the oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes, until the tops are slightly browned.
9. Leave the wontons to cool for around 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack. To get them to the rack, you need to be very careful! It is easier to move the bakes out of silicone bun cases, but if you've used a muffin pan, then take a teaspoon, pull one side of the bake up by a corner of crispy wonton, and gently use the teaspoon as a lever under the bake, to flip out and onto the tray.
10. Wow your guests with this amazing looking food!